By CHRIS AGEE
The Department of Public Safety wants motorists to be prepared for a greater highway patrol presence on the state’s roadways in coming days.
As in previous years, troopers will engage in increased patrolling throughout the Memorial Day weekend.
Between Friday and Monday, officers will be looking for drunk drivers, speeders, and other traffic violators throughout the state.
DPS Director Steven McGraw said the holiday “is a time of reverence and remembrance for all those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation.”
He said there are several ways motorists can help make Memorial Day safer for themselves and those around them.
“DPS encourages Texans to mark the holiday responsibly by adhering to safe driving practices and by not drinking and driving,” he said.
“Troopers will be out in force and are prepared to issue tickets to drivers disobeying traffic laws in an effort to keep our roadways safe.”
In addition to remaining sober behind the wheel, DPS offers a number of other tips to remember when driving in holiday weekend traffic.
Defensive driving is important and drivers should eliminate any distractions such as mobile electronic devices. Additionally, the agency recommends slowing down in inclement weather, in construction zones or in unfamiliar areas.
Experts recommend making sure both the driver and vehicle are well-maintained before beginning a trip.
During similar increased patrols throughout the state last Memorial Day, troopers arrested 609 drunk drivers. In addition, during the weekend, they issued over 6,000 citations for speeding, about 1,400 seat belt and child safety restraint violations, and 825 citations for driving without insurance.
Troopers also arrested 264 fugitives and 219 suspects with felony warrants. The added law enforcement presence also resulted in 10 drug cases and the recovery of 16 stolen vehicles.